Here is why early intervention is crucial to preventing vision loss and maintaining healthy eyes for life

FEATURE — Regardless of whether a person sees perfectly, when it comes to eye health, early intervention and regular eye exams are crucial for understanding a person’s possible vision correction needs, detecting eye disease and preventing future vision loss.

Dr. Joseph Fife speaks with a patient at Paradise Canyon Eye Care, St. George, Utah, June 15, 2018 | Photo still from video by Aaron Crane, St. George News

Many eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, don’t manifest themselves in traditional symptoms such as discomfort or even pain, said Theresa Fife, office manager at Paradise Canyon Eye Care.

Fife said a person typically won’t notice that anything is wrong until they are in the advance stages of the eye disease, which is vision loss.

People who have regular, thorough eye exams in Southern Utah are at an advantage, because most eye diseases can be detected early on and vision loss can be prevented.

The opposite in this case is also true, which is why consistent care is so critical to healthy vision for life.

“If you’re not coming in regularly, you’re not going to know if there have been any changes – if you have any of those (eye) diseases – and then they’re not going to be prevented and it ends up with vision loss,” Fife said. “Once you have vision loss, it can’t be reversed.”

Eye exams can also find early indicators that a person has other health issues, she said.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, some forms of cancers, sexually transmitted diseases, autoimmune diseases and high blood pressure are potential health disorders that can be detected through eye exams.

At Paradise Canyon Eye Care, they believe that having lifelong healthy vision and overall health begins when a patient is young.

Paradise Canyon Eye care building located just off Snow Canyon Parkway, St. George, Utah, June 15, 2018 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Fife said they recommend that children have a comprehensive eye exam before entering elementary school or right around preschool or kindergarten, adding that waiting for a school vision screening to asses whether a child can see well is not as effective, as those screenings are not comprehensive and only check whether students can see a chart at a fixed distance.

“One in three vision problems goes undetected in those screenings,” Fife said.

After the first eye exam, a yearly eye exam is recommended to ensure the patient can see their best so they can perform their best in school and in every day life. A comprehensive eye exam carefully evaluates a patient’s visual acuity and looks at the eye from the inside out in order to detect changes that indicate disease.

At Paradise Canyon Eye Care, the team is passionate about continuing education and utilizes the latest in diagnostic technology in order to give patients the most accurate diagnosis and care possible.

It is really important to the whole team, Fife said, that everyone is well-trained and consistently staying on top of their training and education.

Beyond the training and technology, Fife also said their practice is dedicated to creating an atmosphere that is patient-centric, which means treating every person who comes to the practice as an individual with a unique set of needs and experiences, as well as really taking the time to listen and get to know each patient.

“It’s not about what’s right for us,” she said, “it is about what’s right for the patient.

About Paradise Canyon Eye Care

Paradise Canyon Eye Care was established in December 2008 by Dr. Joseph Fife, O.D., an Ivins native and Theresa Fife’s husband.

A display case houses sunglasses and glasses at Paradise Canyon Eye Care, St. George, Utah, June 15, 2018 | Photo still from video by Aaron Crane, St. George News

Dr. Fife is one of only three optometrists in St. George who is board certified by the American Board of Optometry.

Being board certified means he has gone above and beyond the regular licensing requirements, Theresa Fife said.

He is also a Utah Optometric Association member and an American Optometric Association member. In addition, he belongs to Vision Source, North America’s premier network of private practice optometrists.

The offices’ website says this of their practice:

Paradise Canyon Eye Care is committed to providing the highest standard of health care, personalized service and quality products in a friendly and caring atmosphere. We strive to improve quality of life and overall health through education, prevention, and early detection. Utilizing state of the art technology and continually educating ourselves, we inspire confidence in our patients and in each other.

And the Google reviews for Paradise Canyon Eye Care seem to bear this out, with over 120 five-star reviews, several of which specifically mention how Dr. Fife takes the time to explain test results and procedures to patients both young and old.

“The doctor took his time and explained everything and answered my questions without rushing me, even though I’m sure he is very busy,” one reviewer wrote. “He took time to ask questions to get to know me as a person not just a patient.”

Paradise Canyon Eye Care offers comprehensive eye services, including exams, evaluations, supplements, eyeglasses, contact lenses and co-managing ocular surgeries such as as cataract surgery, laser surgery and other refractive surgeries in conjunction with an ocular surgeon. Dr. Fife also treats Dry Eye disease and fits scleral lenses for people with keratoconus or other corneal deformities.

For more information about Paradise Canyon Eye Care, including their services, and for questions about insurance coverage, call the office at 435-656-2003.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • NotSoFast August 15, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    A to the point, suggestive ad. Made an appointment

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